List of all U-boats

U-21

Type

IIB

 
Ordered2 Feb 1935
Laid down4 Mar 1936 F. Krupp Germaniawerft AG, Kiel (werk 551)
Launched31 Jul 1936
Commissioned3 Aug 1936 
Commanders
18 Jul 1935 - 3 Oct 1937  Kptlt. Kurt Freiwald
Sep, 1936 - 31 Mar 1937  Kptlt. Werner Lott
1937 - 1937  Kptlt. Wilhelm Ambrosius
1937 - 1937  Kpt. Erwin Sachs
1 Oct 1937 - 6 Jan 1940  Kptlt. Fritz Frauenheim (Knights Cross)
6 Jan 1940 - 28 Jul 1940   Wolf-Harro Stiebler
1 Aug 1940 - 20 Dec 1940  Oblt. Hans Heidtmann (Knights Cross)
21 Dec 1940 - 18 May 1941  Kptlt. Ernst-Bernward Lohse
19 May 1941 - 3 Jan 1942  Oblt. Karl-Heinz Herbschleb
4 Jan 1942 - 24 Sep 1942  Oblt. Hans-Heinrich Döhler
25 Sep 1942 - 28 Jan 1943  Ltn. Hans-Ferdinand Geisler
29 Jan 1943 - 11 May 1944  Oblt. Rudolf Kugelberg
12 May 1944 - 5 Aug 1944  Oblt. Wolfgang Schwarzkopf
Career
7 patrols
1 Aug 1936-1 Aug 1939  1. Flottille (active service)
1 Sep 1939-31 Dec 1939  1. Flottille (active service)
1 Jan 1940-30 Jun 1940  1. Flottille (active service)
1 Jul 1940-5 Aug 1944  21. Flottille (school boat)
Successes5 ships sunk, total tonnage 10,706 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 605 GRT
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 11,500 tons
Fate

Stranded on 27 March, 1940 south-east of Mandal, in position 58.01N, 07.29E, after running aground off Oldknuppen Island following a navigational error.

Interned in Norway at Kristiansand-Süd. Released to Germany on 9 April, 1940.

Stricken 5 Aug, 1944 at Pillau. Scrapped in February, 1945.

See the 7 ships hit by U-21 - View the 7 war patrols

Attacks on this boat and other events

9 Sep 1939
The British submarine HMS Ursula (N 59) (LtCdr G.C. Philipps, RN) fired the first British submarine torpedoes of the war when unsuccessfully attacking U-35 and U-21 with a spread of five torpedoes some 23 miles north of the island of Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands. (Sources: Dr. Jürgen Rohwer)

6 Nov 1939
HMS Sealion (Lt.Cdr. B. Bryant, RN) fired 6 torpedoes at U-21. They all missed their target.

2 recorded attacks on this boat.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-21 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.


Media links


U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor


U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth


German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel


Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

There was another U-21 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 8 Feb 1913 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 22 Oct 1913. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about the U 21 during WWI.